Nine Layers of Steamed Shells!

Watch this! *SCREAMS!*

 

Some of you might have already seen this. KBS TV program (생생정보통) featured this restaurant last December. That ignited a loooooong trail of customers waiting to sample the yummies from the tower of shellfish, yup, from locals and foreigners.

Not sure if it’s still wildly popular now, since I haven’t had a chance to try it myself. I love love love shellfish anything! Like prawns, crabs, mussels, clams, etc etc etc! So I thought I’ll blog this out so that I can refer to it easily when it’s my turn to go.

 

The restaurant name is 무한조개구이까까

They’re famous for their nine-layer steamed shells (9단조개찜), or what the Chinese refer to as 九層蒸貝殼. The unique point is that the food is served in layers of steamers.

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What’s Steaming in the Nine Layers?

I googled a little to check out what each layer is, so here we go! Believe there could be variations from season to season, depending on the availability of the shellfish.

Layer 1: Cuttlefish, soondae, steamed dumpling
Layer 2: Crab, octopus
Layer 3: Pen shell (Kidney scallop)
Layer 4: Mixed shell
Layer 5: Oyster
Layer 6: Cheese scallop
Layer 7: Clams
Layer 8: Conch, eggs
Layer 9: (Spicy) seafood soup (can add noodles)

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I’ve read some blog posts on this restaurant, and most people have said that the nine-layer order can feed five to eight people. This is 75,000KRW.

If you’re in a smaller group, there are smaller options. You can go for the 3-layer option at 39,000KRW, or 4-layer portion at 49,000KRW, or 5-layer portion at 59,000 KRW.

Probably better to go in a bigger party if you wanna have variety.

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Words of Caution!

Now I came across a couple of blog posts that said that portion’s really quite big, so by the time they were midway through the tower, they were already too full.

Plus, there’s only one way of cooking if you order the tower, so everything’s steamed without any seasoning, but after awhile, it gets a little bland. Everyone has said that the food’s very fresh though.

So I guess if you’re the sort who likes your food with a stronger taste, then this might not be to your liking, consider yourself pre-warned!

 

But hehe, many of us are probably intrigued by the towering presentation, so we might still order this for photos. I need to also warn you that if you order the nine-layer tower, it’s too tall to send the food to you at one go. So what happens if they will bring the nine layers to you in two servings.

If you wanna take photos of nine layers, you may have to ask the staff for help, or take them empty after you’ve finished your food.

The restaurant has two types of table settings. If you’re ordering the steamed shellfish, then you will be led to tables without the grill.

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What About Grill?

The other types of tables are with the grill. I was saying just now that some people may find the steamed version too plain, ya? So, the grilled version should be more exciting; in fact, it seems like quite many Koreans prefer the grill version.

For the grill version, you can refer to the menu that’s hung on the wall. I understand that the restaurant has added Chinese onto the menu, and someone also shared that they’ve hired Mandarin-speaking staff too.

 

But just so you’ve a rough idea of how much everything is, I’ll just do a rough trans. Note that prices are subject to change lah, hehe!

Grill (unlimited serving or buffet style)
Adult 18,000 KRW per head
Kids (7 and below) 7,000 KRW, (13yo and below) 9,000 KRW

 

If you don’t want buffet style and prefer a la carte order, you can choose to order mixed platter of clams and shellfish in three different sizes (39,000 KRW, 49,000 KRW or 59,000 KRW).

Seafood Kalguksu 5,000 KRW
Seafood ramyeon 4,000 KRW
Ramyeon 3,000 KRW
Rice 2,500 KRW

 

As for drinks, beer is 4,000 KRW, soju 3,500 KRW and Makgeolli 3,000 KRW and Baesekju is 8,000 KRW. Soft drinks should be 2,000 KRW.

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How to get there?
The restaurant is located in a neighbourhood in Bongcheon-dong, near the Seoul National University.

무한조개까까
924-40, Bongcheon-dong, Gwanak-gu, Seoul, Korea
주소: 서울시 관악구 봉천동 924-40
Tel: +82-2-876-8687
** They only take in walk-in reservations
(Mon – Sat) 4pm till late
(Sun) 3pm till late

 

DIRECTIONS
Bongcheon (奉天站) subway station (Line 2), Exit 6
Take the escalator, keep walking till you come to a junction. Turn left and keep walking till you come to the next junction. You will see the restaurant across the road (right side). Cross the road to the opposite side and walk towards your right.

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Image Credits: rina, windko0813.pixnet.net

I ♡ Music!

It’s 2am Sunday night. Or technically, it’s actually Monday morning already.

Why do Sundays always pass so quickly?

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Time to crawl out from my cave and face the world and face people again.

Was a superb weekend. My folks were away in Kukup for a short getaway and I had the whole house to myself, loveliest feeling on earth, sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, I love love love my folks to bits and pieces, but I also love spending time with just me, myself and I.

Ordered fast food and did lots of (useless, hah!) reading whilst blasting music in the background.

Gotta love music. I’ve always loved music, don’t you?

 

Talking about music, the #DANCINGMAN must really love music too.

Back in March, someone fat-shamed a man who was dancing in a club in the US. The fat-shaming happened both offline and online. Here, take a look at the post.

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Thank goodness there’s still sensibility and goodness in humankind! Activist CASSANDRA tweeted that she and a group of ladies would like to hunt down #DancingMan and invite him to dance with them.

Yes, over 1,700 of ’em, ladies *giggles*

Anyway, turns out that the man’s Sean from Liverpool, England. He responded to the call and said, he loves to dance, and would like to take up the ladies’ offer.

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Fast forward two months later…

YAY! THAT DANCE HAPPENED! Celebrities like Pharrell and Moby who had tweeted support back in March actually showed up to perform at the dance over the weekend! Even MONICA LEWINSKY was at the party!

 

But seriously, why and how do shapes and sizes matter if someone wants to dance? If anyone feels like dancing, they should just go ahead and dance! Don’t see how it’s any of other people’s business to care if a stick-thin person or a bigger person is dancing.

It’s a free world, last I checked, so harlow, live and let live a little, ya?

 

Hee, this is gonna sound a little cheesy, but really, it’s all about the bass!! Earlier in the day before the dance, Sean actually got to dance with MEGHAN TRAINOR!

 

Yes, Meghan Trainor of All About the Bass fame! The lyrics are just soooo… apt!

‘… I ain’t no size two
But I can shake it, shake it, like I’m supposed to do
‘Cause I got that boom boom that all the boys chase
And all the right junk in all the right places’

‘… don’t worry about your size…’
‘… You know I won’t be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll…’

 

Here, listen to the super-catchy tune here!

 

And I’m a big fan of the Kpop audition show, KPOP STAR, ya? Watched all four seasons, and loved ’em all!

Two hot favourites, Katie Kim and Lily M, from the show also put up a live performance of All About the Bass once.

 

And oh, Katie Kim’s the winner of Season 4, and SHE CHOSE TO JOIN YG. Wooooohoo!

Yea, me happy coz I like this girl and love her soulful voice (low like Lee Hi’s!) Here, check out some pics of HERE when she visited YG after winning first place!

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She’s so funny!

So different when she’s singing and when she’s not! When she’s up onstage singing, you would never have guessed she’s such a blur girl offstage who speaks in such a weirdly slow pace, hehe! Oh well, YG’s always a fab place for characters who are a little weird or 4D, hehe!

Can’t wait for her debut album!

 

Meanwhile, will leave you with the MV of a sultry tune that I’ve in love with these days, Girl Crush by Little Big Town.

 

Image Credits: mirror.co.uk, dailymail.co.uk

Quirks of an Introvert

You might have read that I’M AN INTROVERT. In fact I’d just talked about it again HERE.

I’d done more than a handful of personality tests and quizzes, and my Intraversion-score ranged from 78% to 100%(!!)

I kid not, I am an extreme introvert. Now if only more people would believe me.

And oh, I’d just recently learnt that… BORN AN INTROVERT, AND DIE AN INTROVERT. Yup, it appears that brain structure is really different betwee introverts and extraverts (aka extroverts), and we’re born with it and die with it. Unlikely to change.

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Now let me share some quirks and pet peeves from an introvert, yours truly.

1) I withdraw in crowds.

2) Small talk stresses me out and horrifies the hell out of me, while deeper conversations (with the right people, of course) make me feel alive.

3) We’re actually quite OK with public speaking on-stage, just not in the chit-chat afterwards.

4) When surrounded by people, I locate myself close to an exit.

5) I like to think before I speak.

6) I don’t usually take on the mood of their environment like extraverts do.

7) I’m super happy when I come home to discover that I’ll have the whole house to myself.

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8) I physically can’t stand talking on the phone. Yes, I screen my calls. So, I’m terribly grateful when someone texts me instead of calling me.

9) I like to stay up really late every night because it’s the only time that I can actually be alone. And of course, I also need to recharge after spending a day pretending to be more extraverted than I really am.

10) It’s scary to have visitors, as I’ll have to be ‘ON‘ all the time.

11) I love it when I can sit through a haircut or whatever services without the hairstylist attempting to make small talk. In fact, I sometimes change salon once the hairstylists start to get too comfortable and chatty.

12) It’s fab when I can finish my work without anyone interrupting me.

13) I express myself better through writing.

 

imageThey say about 1/3 of the population are introverted.

This means there are more extraverted (or extroverted) than introverted people around.

To be honest, the outer world ain’t really the best of place for the introverts to play in as most of the systems of the world are made for the extraverts.

In fact, it’s been said that introverts face pressure daily, almost from the moment they wake up, to respond and conform to the world of the extraverts out there.

 

And know what?

I wonder if many introverts’ career suffer coz of this. I wonder if an introverted person works in a team consisting of more extraverted peoples, then will this person ‘lose out‘?

For instance, if my boss asks the team a question, all my extraverted colleagues will quickly respond. Yea, unfortunately an overwhelming majority of my colleagues are extraverted. But I, being an introvert, need time to mull over things and may not be able to answer. Even if I only take a short 30 seconds to think about stuff and all, my extraverted colleagues would have enthusiatically responded near immediately.

Sighs… the life of an introvert…

 

So, hope that you understand more about introverts now. If you’re an extravert and you happen to come across introverts, do try to understand them a little more. They function quite differently from extraverts, so please try and be more understanding.

Yea, so now you can perhaps start to have a slight inkling of the anxiety some of us introverts suffer from whenever we’re expected to be ‘social’.

 

Strangely Obsessed with Myers Briggs Personality Test!

I’ve no idea why, but I’ve been obsessed with the MYERS BRIGGS PERSONALITY TESTS OR MBTI TESTS for the past week!

 

Hehe, guess most of you would have heard about the Myers Briggs personality test which will tell you which of the 16 personality types you are.

Despite the many, many articles (like this VOX ONE and this FORBES ONE) telling people how the tests are unproven, meaningless and all that jazz, lotsa people are still obsessed with it.

Yea, like I am.

 

Over a decade ago, headhunting firms even made candidates do tests like this for the more senior roles. In fact, as many as 2 to 2.5 million people take the test every year! And it’s been said that over 80 of the Fortune 100 companies use this test.

No idea if it’s still so these days.

 

Now, the actual MBTI test is not free, you have to pay US49.95 to take the assessment ONLINE, or you can go try your luck at one of the bigger headhunting firms.

Otherwise, there are variations of the MBTI test online that are free. The two more popular ones are from HUMAN METRICS and SIMILAR MINDS. Or you can also try 25 QUIZ, PERSONALITY TESTING or KISA.

 

I first came across this test at a headhunting firm slightly more than a decade ago. Yup, I had done the original MBTI test, the paid one and back then I was INTJ.

Yes, doing the MBTI test will yield you a four-letter personality type, and there are a total of 16 different types.

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Each of the four letters is supposed to tell us something since the MBTI assesses personal preferences on four dichotomies:

Extraversion (E) vs. Introversion (I)
(outward vs. inward focus)
This is talking about our fave worlds: Do we prefer to focus on the outer world, or on our own inner world?

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Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N)
(concrete vs. abstract information-gathering)
This is about how we process information: Do we prefer to focus on the basic information we take in and engage our five senses to check out and verify data, or do we prefer to use impressions and pattens to interpret things and to add meaning?

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Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F)
(objective vs. subjective decision-making)
The third letter looks at how we make decisions: When making decisions, do we prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances? In short, do we use our head or heart more when making decisions?

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Judgement (J) vs. Perception (P)
(closed-endedness vs. open-endedness)
The last letter is about how we display our preference to the outside world. It deals with the structure: In dealing with the outside world, do we prefer to get things decided or do we prefer to stay open to new information and options? The J-type of people obviously needs clarity and closure, whilst the P-type of people can live with more fluidity, open-endedness and more shades of shade instead of just black or white.

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I was saying I was an INTJ in the first test, ya? Guess what? I did 5-6 different variations of the free online tests over the last week and ended up being INTP in all my recent tests!

So yes, I’ve shifted from INTJ to INTP and I agree!

Guess one of the main reasons I am so obsessed about this is how accurate it is! Over the decade or so, I have felt the shift within myself that I’d be more surprised if I were still an INTJ.

 

I’ve mellowed a lot over the years.

The passage of time and my own life experiences have taught me that very few things in life have permanance and just as few things are really definite forever. And more importantly, there are many sides to a story, many different types of people, and hence, many roads to get to Rome. I may know the road to Rome, but my way may not be the only way to Rome.

I am now better able to live with more open-endedness and I also believe it’s better to remain fluid and flexible as things change all the time.

If we’re stuck in a rut, or insist on sticking to just one path once decision is made and won’t consider changing even if the tides or wind direction have changed, then I think that’s really quite tragic.

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So yea, I’m INTP. Proudly so too.

 

You can click HERE and HERE to read more about INTP.

 

Hehe, am also a teeny weeny proud that INTP is one of the less common types in the population, especially for women. Among women, INTP is the fourth rarest type (after INTJ, ENTJ, and INFJ).

INTPs make up:

3% of the general population
5% of men
2% of women

Yea, there’s nothing I dislike more than to be ordinary, nondescript and just like everyone else.

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Here, let me share some key INTP traits:

– INTPs are Independent, abstract reasoners.

– INTPs are not so interested in everyday chitchat about barbecues, prices of eggs, shopping trips, etc. They would rather be discussing whether dolphins have language or the meaning of life.

– INTPs can and do prefer to work alone and uninterrupted for long stretches of time.

– INTPs and INFJs have the shortest mean time in their jobs – meaning they switch jobs a lot. They rank things like ‘Security‘ lower than ‘International opportunities‘ and ‘Advancement/pay‘ when it comes to work.

– INTPs love learning and have a tendency to ask many questions in their pursuit for knowledge. But this does not mean they score high grades, as their interest is really only in learning.

– INTPs are likely to pick one favorite style of clothing and wear it for every occasion. They tend not to care that much for outward appearance

– INTPs dislike being limited by bureaucracy and rules, and prefer to focus on creating the idea, and to leave the tedious details of implementation to someone else.

– INTPs work best independently or with a small team of colleagues that they perceive as smart, competent, and logical.

– INTPs quickly tire of colleagues who are aggressive or overbearing, and can be dismissive of people who aren’t as clever as themselves.

– An ideal organization for an INTP is flexible and non-traditional, and values ingenuity over conformity.

– INTPs have little appetite for the mundane aspects of life, and may disregard rituals and rotes. They are tolerant of individual preferences but will rarely do something because they are told they ‘should‘.

– INTPs may find others difficult to deal with when they cannot understand the logic behind their behavior. When things get too emotional, they may retreat to their own world of thoughts and ideas.

– INTPs want plenty of space to explore their own thoughts, ideas, and interests.

 

On INTP and Leadership

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Contrary to public belief, INTPs do have leadership abilities.

When INTPs do lead, their strategic planning abilities, knowledge and unconventionality provide advantages to the team which are typically made up of members who are more rational.

Since INTPs dislike control and rules, they tend to be casual, ‘hands off’ leaders who set goals and tasks but leave the details of the implementation to their subordinates. INTPs also tend to be democratic leaders, encouraging discussion and speaking with a team-oriented ‘we‘.

INTPs do not fancy barking out orders, so you will not hear stuff like ‘Do this‘, ‘Go there‘, or ‘Do not do this‘. Instead, INTPs prefer to give suggestions or advice people under their charge.

 

INTPs don’t get high on power or control, and it isn’t about the status either. They’re just not very interested in the ‘people‘ aspect of management, and they dislike having to deal with daily nitty-gritty or minute operational details.

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The thing that INTPs will enjoy about being in a leadership position is not being controlled by anyone.

This reminds of something an ex-boss-turned-dear-friend, P, once said to me. He had described me as 不想管別人,也不想被人管 and I remember thinking ya, that’s right.

That’s exactly me!

 

Generally speaking, INTPs tend to view leadership as being more trouble than it’s worth.

Perhaps what will interest INTPs and also be something that they excel in might be to lead virtual teams. INTPs can be expected to be highly capable virtual team leaders as they have above-average written communication skills. The fact that the distance offered by the internet mitigates the interpersonal factors that might otherwise cause trouble for them in real-life interactions.

INTPs will also be weary of the social demand of leadership if they have to manage a real team offline.

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Soooooo blardy true I am so shocked that my mouth’s still hanging open!

 

Progressive Wage Model for Aunty Pauline

I know many people follow Humans of Singapore on FB.

If you do, then you must have seen THIS VERY RECENT POST ABOUT AN AIRPORT CLEANER. Whoa, it’d garnered over 10,000(!) likes and over 600 shares in just a day!

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Go check out the comments on the FB post; it’s sooooo heart-warming to see so many people praising and thanking cleaners. So much ♡♡♡

This same photo and post were also posted on INSTAGRAM.

 

Over 10,000 likes, over 600 shares on FB.

Not small numbers at all, methinks! In comparison to the other posts on the same page, this post saw wayyy higher likes and shares ^.^

I think it’s safe to assume that people have so much empathy for cleaners coz it’s really very hard (and literally dirty in some cases) work for rather little money.

 

Just think about it.

If you or I stop work for three days without anyone replacing us, I’d betcha the world still continues to spin and not many people would have noticed that we weren’t working for three days. But if a cleaner at the airport stops work for three days without anyone replacing her…. *shudders!*

So yea, the cleaners around our little island nation are actually very very important people!

 

But these very important people had been earning something between $700 to $850 for years on end.

 

Why so low?

Coz of CHEAP-SOURCING, cleaning contracts usually ended up being awarded to the lowest bidders. Since the cleaning companies needed to win the contracts with low prices, the cleaners ended up having their PAY SUPPRESSED.

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The lady in the photo is Aunty Pauline.

I know her coz I’d met her when I went to the airport sometime back to speak with her colleague about some work stuff. Whilst waiting for her colleague to come to work, the very friendly Aunty Pauline sat and chatted with me.

Aunty Pauline is 67 years old, and she used to work in the manufacturing line in a factory. She was retrenched some five years ago, and she joined the cleaning industry at 62. The cleaning company had posted her to Changi Airport, and she has been working there since then.

 

The soft-spoken and cheery Aunty Pauline is more than a cleaner today. She had completed her WORKFORCE SKILLS QUALIFICATION (WSQ) IN CLEANING and she is now an Asst Cleaning Supervisor.

Since she works at the airport and will invariably come into contact with overseas travellers and also so that she can better manage the non-Chinese cleaners, Aunty Pauline had also taken up English lessons.

That’s not all! She’s also a proud CERTIFIED SERVICE PROFESSIONAL!

Whoa, talk about lifelong learning, hehe!

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Yes, cleaners are just like us with dreams and aspirations, and want to progress in their jobs too. This is also why the Labour Movement fought so hard to push for PROGRESSIVE WAGE MODEL (PWM).

NTUC had successfully lobbied for Progressive Wage Model (PWM) and it came into effect for the cleaning sector last September. With PWM, there is a wage floor of $1,000; the starting pay for table-top cleaners and outdoor cleaners is even higher, not to mention cleaners who are trained to use the machines.

You can check out a mid-way report card by CNA HERE.

 

Yup, the WAGE FLOOR is just one of the four parts of PWM, as it’s a model that will benefit the cleaners continually through their working lives.

Since cleaners, too, need CAREER PROGRESSION just like anyone of us, NTUC didn’t stop at just recommending a minimum wage for the cleaners. The PWM has other components like skill upgrading and productivity gains, both of which can lead to higher pay for the cleaners. Or cleaners could also aspire to become supervisors or even operations staff.

 

For Aunty Pauline, I am so glad and so proud that the HumansOfSG post about her is so well-received!  Before we parted ways at the airport, she told me she wants to continue attending courses to learn new things. She wants to sign up for intermediate course for English.

She said,

“As a Cleaning Supervisor, I have a responsibility. I want to keep learning new things because I have started to love my job. I am happy in my job now; but I will be even happier if more people appreciate our jobs and treat us better.”